Welcome back to West Hampstead Life

What have you missed since August 2015?

Obvious. The West Hampstead Life newsletter and website. Yes, it’s been nine months since Jonathan sent out the last newsletter and there has been a West Hampstead Life-sized hole ever since. I kept up a low-key correspondence with Jonathan during this time as I felt strongly that there must be something that could be done. Perserverence has paid off. West Hampstead Life is back and I’m delighted to be its new editor.

It’s early days with the relaunch (and bear with me for the inevitable teething troubles). Some things will change, but we will keep the best bits of West Hampstead Life. Initially, we will make the newsletter fortnightly, not weekly, to allow us to rebuild things gradually.

Me, I’ve lived in West Hampstead for 18 years and over this time a lot has changed, but whatever makes West Hampstead, West Hampstead and first drew me to it, has remained. It was something Jonathan sensed when he started this project now seven years ago. Partly it was about disseminating local news but he quickly found that it unearthed a local community which responded to the more social side of West Hampstead Life. We want to keep that too.

Much as I feel part of West Hampstead I know that I don’t know everything and I certainly can’t write about everything. We are therefore very actively looking for people to help contribute. Please drop me an e-mail if you’re interested.

Living in London is great but at times it can be stressful, lonely and frustrating. So the experts recommend we take a mindful approach and live in the ‘now’, in the moment. Fine, but as well as living in the ‘now’ shouldn’t we live in the ‘here’? Which to me is about knowing what’s going on locally, knowing your neighbours, supporting your local shops and caring about the local environment. I want West Hampstead Life to continue to be part of making that happen and to be part of making West Hampstead a better place, please join me. Mark

A word from the publisher

Yes, hello, it’s me. You don’t get rid of me that easily. It’s been a slightly painful process trying to resurrect WHL, so I’m delighted that we’ve emerged with such an enthusiastic new editor.

Some of you have asked if I’m moving back. I’m not. But I am retaining ownership of the site and will be the publisher of WHL, which basically means I’ll be selling the ads and helping Mark where I can. Mark will be the editor, and we couldn’t have found someone more closely intertwined with the area. Mark is one of the few people under 60 who knows more about West Hampstead than I do. He’s a long-term resident and very involved in existing community groups while not being a political activist, so WHL’s broad impartiality remains.

We’re very pleased to have many advertisers already lined up. They recognise both the unrivalled exposure that WHL brings for local businesses and the broader benefit to West Hampstead in supporting West Hampstead Life, which quite literally can’t function without making some money. Particular thanks to Dutch & Dutch, which has committed to be a long-term advertiser, thereby enabling this relaunch. It shouldn’t need saying, but I’ll say it anyway: advertisers have no say in editorial coverage unless they have written a sponsored article, which is always described as such.

I shall continue to run the @WHampstead twitter account, Mark will take the @WHampsteadLife account, and we’re (slowly) going to up our presence on Facebook and Instagram.

FINALLY, as Mark hinted above, the broad idea that a local community shouldn’t just be virtual lives on. Expect more pub get togethers and whampdinners in restaurants (plus cultural stuff too – Ed). Say it quietly, but there might be something on June 17th, though you’ll only hear about that if you’re on the mailing list. Jonathan